Finger ScannerSmartphone security is one of those things; it’s necessary, because there’s so much personal information kept on our phones these days, but it’s a bugbear, because we unlock our phones so frequently that typing in PINs or patterns frequently is a pain in the neck.

To make this a little easier, Samsung incorporated a fingerprint scanner in the Galaxy S5 (and other devices since) but it was far from perfect. While the software side was good — you could use the fingerprint scanner to unlock the device, and more — the hardware side lacked a little; unlike the widely respected fingerprint sensor which Apple uses in the iPhone range, Samsung went with a swipe sensor, which wasn’t particularly well designed, or reliable to activate.

Building it in to the home button was a good idea (it’s what people kind of expected) but unlike the large surface area on Apple’s home button, Samsung’s doesn’t share it, so a touch sensor wasn’t viable at the time. It’s a shame, because the fingerprint sensor on Samsung’s Galaxy S5 (and later devices that have used it) hasn’t been held in high regard.

For those looking forward to the next Galaxy phone, some good news! SamMobile is reporting that Samsung is ditching the swipe sensor for a touch sensor instead, and it will work largely the same as the iPhone fingerprint sensor; you can enrol the entire fingerprint, and so placement (and swiping) isn’t so fussy, meaning you’re more likely to get an unlock first time, instead of needing four or five tries.

To make this work, Samsung has reportedly increased the size of the home button on the Galaxy S6. This means that you can place the registered fingerprint on the home button, at any angle, and securely unlock your device.

There’s no word about new software features, but the existing features are still pretty damned cool:

  • Fingerprint unlock – unlock the phone from the lockscreen
  • Sign in to websites using fingerprints
  • Verify Samsung Account, useful when purchasing content in Samsung apps and services
  • Private mode (which can be activated by fingerprints)
  • Pay with PayPal, using a fingerprint instead of a password to authorise

This is what we know. Now we wait six weeks or so until MWC 2015 (hopefully) to find out what’s going to happen! I’m probably more excited about the Galaxy S6 than I have been about any of Samsung’s previous Galaxy flagships.

Source: SamMobile.
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Darren Ferguson

In the US you can’t be forced to give passwords to your device. But a fingerprint is fair game and can be used to unlock a phone. Any idea if it’s similar in Aus?


Typical Samsung, they only know how to copy and steal ideas from others

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Typical idiot commenter realising companies steal from each other all the time.


Clowns, 5.5 inch iphone 6 plus is the 2011 galaxy note! copied because apple would have you glued to 3.5 inchs, nfc for payments tap to pay, Hello apple finally copied and caught up! life is a copy of everything this is how tech gets improved, where have you been liveing under a rock


I agree, Apple can’t go a single day without copying others, this iPhone six is only bigger, incredibly overpriced and 0% innovative

Fiddle Castro

Daft really. The fingerprint sensor already works better better on Samsung than the iPhone. The only problem is that people don’t realise you HAVE to put a LOT of your finger on the screen, not the button to start the swipe. Once you do this it works 100% perfectly.

It’s Samsung’s fault for not be clearer about this in their instructions. It doesn’t work like Apple’s sensor at all–and works with even better accuracy once you know how to use it.

vijay alapati

Agreed, i am using this with third party app where i can lock certain apps like gallery, love the sensor


I get first swipe unlock about 70% of the time now, it takes practice but works well once you get the hang of it.


How about a Qi wireless charging built in as I cant find and cases that fit the official Qi charging back cover (or having the non qi back cover the same thickness as the Qi cover).


Same old story, Apple goes to the market with something, Samsung brings out their half-arsed version, and then improves in the next iteration. I’m an Android die hard, and would never buy an iPhone, but Samsung have totally lost me. Motorola and LG ftw.


Just moved from a note 3 to an lg g2, this thing is awesome! The only thing that annoys me is I didn’t realise that Australia got a slightly different model to the rest of the world, so no custom kernels/Roms/recoveries etc, but root and and Xposed are good enough for now I guess.

El Manana

I have to agree, Samsung isn’t doing any favours by adding “me too” things. But for me, I disagree with Moto and especially LG, had a G3, which was disappointing (worst than the G2), they seem to be the next Samsung.

And Moto , well I liked the Razr HD, but it seems Australia is low on their priorities.


Yeah I hear you about Moto, they don’t seem to prioritise Australia at all. Sorry to hear the G3 was disappointing, I’ve never had one myself (still on my trusty Nexus 5) but I was relying on reviews etc that it was pretty great. We’ll have to see what the next round brings. Maybe Sony are the way to go? The Z3 looks great in both form factors…


Oh apple maps wasnt half assed! apple antenna gate wasnt half assed! siri wasnt half assed! Cmon!


I’m not saying apple don’t rip off ideas too, but you can’t accuse them of not innovating.

Samsang on the other hand have two strategies, first, copy whatever apple’s doing, second, throw a million different form factors out there and hope a couple of them catch on.

Hey, it’s worked for them so good on them, but it seems the shine is starting to wear thin.